Track and Field

Ayana clocks second fastest 5000m ever – IAAF Diamond League

Written by IAAF.

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Almaz Ayana missed out on the women’s world 5000m record by just over five seconds at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rabat two weeks ago and came, agonisingly, even closer in Rome as she stopped the clock at 14:12.59 on Thursday (2), just 1.44 off the mark set by her Ethiopian compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba eight years ago.

It was an IAAF Diamond League record. It was a meeting record at the Italian one-day showpiece. It was the fastest time run this year. It was the second fastest time ever run.

But, despite her dazed smile in the aftermath of achieving all those accolades, it wasn’t what Ayana wanted.

As the last pacemaker dropped away with seven laps remaining, Ayana was in a race of her own, more than half-a-lap clear. She was running easily, no strain showing on her face, and passed 3000m in 8:30.43.

The laps clicked down, and it seemed the world champion was on the brink of reaching the prize she has sought all season.

With three laps left, she clocked 10:48.8. With two left, the time was 11.58.00.

Taylor throws down the gauntlet in Eugene – IAAF Diamond League

Written by IAAF.

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He’s already a world and Olympic gold medallist and the owner of the second best triple jump of all-time but what Christian Taylor really wants is competition.

He’s inviting it, hoping for it every time he competes.

“I’m chasing records now and I need that push,” said Taylor after winning with 17.76m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene on Saturday (28).

“I don’t want it to be a blowout, I want it to be a back and forth, a rivalry.”

He certainly did get some ‘back and forth’ at Hayward Field.

After a somewhat subdued start to the competition, his former university team mate Will Claye made things interesting with a final round jump of 17.56m which took the lead from Taylor, whose third round mark of 17.46m put him in command of the competition.

Kovacs shifts gears to produce world-leading shot mark in Eugene – IAAF Diamond League

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Joe Kovacs flipped the switch and the ball went flying. The IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 men’s shot put gold medallist uncorked a world-leading 22.13m on his final attempt to close out a dominant performance at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene on Friday (27).

After coming out with what he described as a cautious first attempt, the US putter held the lead throughout the competition and improved every round throughout a chilly evening at the Prefontaine Classic, becoming the first man over 22 metres this year.

“It’s the body waiting to have that little gear change. I didn’t do it in the first couple throws but I could feel the rhythm and excitement coming,” commented Kovacs.

Head-to-head contests give Eugene the flavour of a pre-Olympic appetiser

Written by IAAF.

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Head-to-head encounters feature strongly on the fourth stop of the 2016 IAAF Diamond League in Eugene, Oregon, giving the famed Prefontaine Classic meeting the look of an Olympic Games preview on Friday and Saturday (27-28).

At the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015, Dafne Schippers and Elaine Thompson produced the fourth and seventh fastest 200m performances of all-time when they ran for gold and silver in the Chinese capital.

They will meet again on a fast track at Hayward Field and joining them in the 200m will be Tori Bowie, third at last year’s world championships 100m and the fastest woman in the world so far this year.

Outstanding High Performance Fields Announced for the 2016 Adrian Martinez Classic - "A Track Meet like No Other"

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For the third year in a row, the very elite of American distance runners are descending on Concord, Massachusetts for the Adrian Martinez Classic, sponsored by HOKA ONE ONE. High Performance races in the 800m, 5000m and Mile are part of a unique track event that also offers community mile races for all ages, as well as two races featuring local unified track athletes. The eighth edition of the Martinez Classic, scheduled for Thursday June 2nd at Emerson Field in Concord, will truly live up to its billing as a meet with races for all ages and abilities and, as the Boston Globe headlined in its 2015 report, "A track meet like no other."

The setting is certainly unusual for high performance athletes. The track at Emerson Field is nestled between a playground, a tree-lined drive, and little league fields. Spectators ring the track, crowding 3-deep along the fence. After winning last year’s 5000m, Abbey D’Agostino commented, “I love the energy, the community - to have everyone from 3-year-olds to my grandmother, who is 84. It’s real exciting to see that track can generate that kind of audience.” Jan Holmquist, who broke the world record for the mile in the 70+ age group at last year’s Martinez Classic, also noted then the different feel to the event. “It’s a community thing. It’s perfect there.”